Cigar Rituals (Are we really this nutty about our cigars?)

Suffice it to say, I had decided that some cigars were “more special” than others. Sound silly? Take it one step further. I was thinking about doing something like this with all of my humidors. One would hold Toros, another for Churchills or wide ring cigars; maybe use one humidor only for Maduros. Not only did I begin to question the sensibility of all this, I started to think about some of the other rituals I perform with regard to my “precious” primos.

For one, I remove the cellos from practically all of my cigars. Though I prefer a twin-flame torch lighter, sometimes I toast my cigar with a torch lighter, then finish it with a cedar match. In my humidor, I line-up my cigars by length. I check my humidity and temperature levels at least every few days. I rotate my cigars every few months. I divide my daily cigars into “morning” and “afternoon” smokes. I consider some cigars “everyday” while others are just for “special occasions.” (God forbid I should smoke one of my Don Carlos 2006 Edición de Aniversario cigars during a poker game. LOL) I prefer to partake with other cigar smokers, rather than by myself. Well, you get the idea, so I’ll leave it there.

I also know that I’m not alone. Cigar smokers by nature are collectors. Collectors covet what they collect. (Remember Dr. Hannibal Lector’s mention of this to Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs?) As a result, collectors devise their own idiosyncratic rituals as a means by which to “protect” their collections, investments, etc. – in this case – cigars.

Based on many of the weekly surveys we’ve done, I  know that cigar smokers have rituals such as sorting their cigars by wrapper, length, shape, brand, etc. That they’ll only cut their cigars with a particular type of cutter. Speaking of which, it could be the method they use to cut their cigars. Some smokers may use a careful, almost surgical-like technique to remove the cap, while others just chop it off like it’s the French Revolution.

Then there are the lighting techniques. Some cigar smokers prefer a torch lighter, while others go “old school” with a long cedar match. Some toast their cigars like it’s the Spanish Inquisition. Some don’t bother to toast their cigars at all, while others toast them as if they were a master chef adding the finishing touches to a crème brulee.

There are a slew of other rituals we cigar smokers practice. Some may be more habit than ritual, but the two are often interchangeable.

  • Wetting a cigar with your tongue before lighting-up.
  • Sniffing your cigar before lighting up.
  • Rolling a cigar over your ear first to see if it’s fresh.
  • Listening to music, reading, or working on your laptop while smoking.
  • Trying to keep the first ash going as long as possible before it falls off.
  • Puffing out a thick cloud of smoke and letting it swirl all around you.
  • Wearing a special cigar smoking shirt or hat when you partake.
  • Always having the same drink with your cigar.
  • Keeping a detailed cigar diary.
  • Chewing on your cigar as you smoke.
  • Aging your cigars for X number of days, weeks, months, or years before lighting them up.
  • The method for removing your cigar from its cello: Push, tear, squeeze, etc.

Here’s the deal: Whether these so-called rituals and others make sense to you or not, it makes sense to the smokers who do, or they wouldn’t do them. I’m even more curious about other cigar smoker rituals. I’m sure there are some good ones, too. If you feel like sharing, please use the comments section. Oh, and by the way…there’s nothing wrong with you.

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Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor at cigaradvisor.com

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

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